Am having a building survey on a house that have inherited. Not expecting it to be good but do I need to be aware of any pitfalls in dealing with surveyors i.e can they indulge in sharp practice and what form can it take? Vested interests with building firms or 'condemning' houses and then purchasing them through third parties for refurbishment, sale and profit could be options for them. Are these the late night crazy wide eyed worries of a paranoid maniac or do I have cause for concern? Further I know surveys have a reputation for making terrifying reading. What is the best way of appraising and interpreting the report?
Just the same as employing a builder. There are good ones and bad ones. Get references from the last 6 customers and then ring them and ask them how they found the surveyors. Was the service good, was the price OK etc. Ask the surveyor to write the report in easy to understand English and if there are ant technical terms ask for them to be explained clearly. You are paying to have a job done, make sure you get it done the way you want it done. Get quotes from at least 3 surveyors for the survey and ask for their accrditation and their govening body. Ask quite clearly what their complaints procedure is. Good surveyors will take this in their stride. At Diydoctor we stress time and time again that the only person who can take the responsibilty for a property, is the owner. The property is a huge investment, even if you get it for free it will cost you a lot of money down the line so all owners must make absolutely sure they have made the right decision. If you ran a company and were employing a member of staff, you woulod interview them, follow up references, look for qualifications and check them out. This should be the same procedure with every builder/surveyor/architect you interview.
I am new on here today but enjoying all i read.
Be carefull,paying more dont mean you get the best.It seem you have been given very good advice already
We bought our home just under 2 years ago with our rose coloured glasses on,had the place surveyed but the surveyor the mortgage company made us use and paid for the full work.A few months after we moved in everywhere went black,the water was coming in the concrete finlock guttering and filling the cavity walls.The electrics were a DIY job and we had to have everywhere re-wired as we the electrician who came to install lights as we had not realised we had no light in the bedrooms and bathroom, noticed all the joints and the built in cooker plugged into a standard socket,he actually said our home was like a ticking bomb what could go off at any time.
Also when we changed the patio we noticed the conservatory was built on the patio and there was no footings,hence the damp walls and wet carpet.
To top it all we looked out the paperwork 2 weeks ago as we have 3 quarters of an acre and talked about selling off as building plots and realised the searhes were not even carried out on our property,it was done on the pig farm with the same name the bungalow .which is 3 miles from here
You might think we were totaly stupid,we were !!!!! But we just sighned the papers as we trusted the solicitor and all these important people to do the job they were paid for as we desperatly wanted this as our home.
We now have had and still have heaps of work to put this place right so paying for the most expensive survey we could have had at the time was a waste and we should have saved our cash and not bothered having any of these checks done.
Take the advice given from the above reply and check who you are giving your money to ,its worth waiting an extra few weeks otherwise you might regret it like we do now
1 Ask if they have professional indemnity insurance.
2 Ring their professional body to check they are actually a current member.
3 A professional body should have a process for dealing with complaints about a member's work.
4 Ask three different estate agents for a valuation. They usually do this for free ( but check) hoping you will uses their services to sell the property. They will usually identify major failings in a property as part of the process of arriving at a valuation. However they are not a substitute for a full survey. A cheap survey tells you little more than the size of rooms etc....info you can easily gather yourself.
5 There is no substitute for personal research and alertness to prevent being ripped off.